Can Taekwondo Make You Taller?


two little karate girls in kimonos and full sports protective gear of red and blue fight against a dark background

Taekwondo is a full-body workout that equips you with the ability to defend yourself. But for kids and teens training it, can Taekwondo make you taller?

No. Taekwondo itself cannot make one taller. How tall we are is actually a function of genetics and diet. However, when we are below 18, some forms of strenuous exercises, like Taekwondo may help stimulate our growth hormones. 

However, there is no direct correlation between practicing Taekwondo and increasing in height. But it is a possible side-effect of the good workout regular Taekwondo classes can provide.

In this article, we’ll learn a lot more about whether the practice of martial arts impacts height, if they stunt growth, and the best martial art for small people.

Let the fun begin.

How would martial arts affect height?

Martial arts can impact the height of young people below the age of 18 due to the growth hormones that get stimulated. In addition to this, the strenuous exercises involved can positively impact sleep. Therefore, a young person below 18 might actually experience a positive impact on their height.

But, as you probably know, we can’t grow taller after the age of 18, and there’s no magic in martial arts that can alter that natural limitation.

When a person is below 18, if they engage in martial arts, eat highly nutritious food, and sleep well, these may positively impact their height. Getting adequate vitamin D, potassium, and calcium. But the most vital thing to know about height and some other traits is that they are genetically determined.

Say you’re under 18 or have children under 18, you might be interested in how martial affects height in practical terms. You’re in luck.

A study showed that if children engage in physical exercises such as Karate, it could result in a 1.47% increase in their height! In effect, a child that may have grown to be 5′ 7″ may grow to be 5′ 8″.

Do you have to be tall for Taekwondo?

While Taekwondo is known for high kicks, practitioners do not have to be tall. Short and tall people alike practice Taekwondo. That said, a taller person may have a slight edge over a short person. 

But ultimately, your desire to master Taekwondo, not your height, is what is vital.

One of the common facts to most martial arts, Taekwondo included, is that one’s height (unless it’s extreme) is virtually irrelevant. Most people who engage in Taekwondo are of average height. You don’t need to have a basketballer’s height to fight. In fact, that would be a huge con.

As long as you master the different skills, you’ll be fine.

Now, someone could argue that being short could be limiting in the sense that Taekwondo consists of a lot of kicks, and a short person may not be able to telegraph their kicks with as much ease as a tall person.

This might be true.

But it’s not something to lose sleep over if you’re short. You’ll only need to ensure that you’re pretty close to your opponent. When you’re kicking or punching them, you’ll also have to master how to easily counter their attacks.

That’s because being close to them can also make you more vulnerable. If you learn how to counter effectively and get out of their range quickly, you’ll probably trounce them.

But can you teach yourself Taekwondo? 

That’s what I explored in a recent article. I looked at whether it’s easy to learn and if you can learn it online. But I also showed how it compares to Judo.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Do martial arts stunt growth?

No. Martial arts do not stunt growth. The notion that they do is a misconception. In fact, with children under the age of 18, it may facilitate growth, as physical exercises are apt to do.

We know that our growth is capped by mother nature once we become adults. And it makes sense when one reflects on it. Otherwise, we’ll just keep growing and growing, without any limit. So, if an adult were to start practicing martial arts, we can speak of it limiting their growth, right?

Which growth?

Well, if by that we mean it could make them leaner and fitter. Yes. But that’s not what many think of when they say that martial arts stunt growth.

They are probably thinking of growing children and adolescents.

The reverse is actually the case. If these young people eat well, sleep well, and practice martial arts, it may actually help them become taller by a factor of almost 1.5%. The notion that martial arts stunt growth is a myth.

So, you’ve decided to learn Taekwondo? 

Awesome. But you’re wondering how often you’ll have to practice it? I got into it in a recent article I published. I shared how many days a week you’ll need to practice and how long it takes to progress in it. But I also revealed if it’s okay to train every day.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

What’s the best martial art for a small person?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the best martial art for a small person. This is because it is a martial art that is all about leverage. It is not about how big or tall practitioners are. In fact, it was created by Hélio Gracie who stood 5’ 9” and only weighed 143 pounds.

And there are a lot of small students and small instructors, too.

BJJ is an offshoot of Judo, and both are actually based on equipping the “underdog” with the skills to trounce “Goliath.” In BJJ, you learn how to grapple and how to make the best of your position even when you’re down, and under a bigger fellow.

It’s no accident that some of the best fighters in MMA have BJJ as one of their base martial arts.

Even if you’re small, it teaches you how to control and submit to others. When you master BJJ, some seemingly simple techniques like applying a chokehold and an armbar can make all the difference.

Its potency lies in the fact that there are no fancy, impressive moves, such as those we’ve come to associate with Martial arts.

You have two dogged fighters employing various effective techniques to dominate the other. Some of the techniques are so deadly they could cripple or even kill!

Good to know, right? But what is the best martial art for women? 

That’s what I got into in a recent article I published. I explained how a woman can decide the best martial art for her and whether every woman should learn martial arts to protect herself? But I also revealed if women’s self-defense is effective.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Which martial art makes you taller?

No martial art would make you taller. But the martial arts that are the most strenuous and more likely to positively impact the growth hormones of teens or kids include Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or Krav Maga.

Our height is a function of factors such as age, genetics, exercise, and diet. After a certain age, nothing in the world can make us taller.

But below 18, strenuous exercise, sleep, and diet may positively impact our growth hormones, leading to an increase in height. Martial arts are a way of life, a way of becoming better human beings, expressed in self-defense systems where a variety of life skills are taught. They are not sports or exercise regimes meant to make us taller or bigger. They are designed to make us better.

Say you’re considering a Japanese martial art such as Judo, in addition to Taekwondo, but you’re torn.

Check out a recent article I published to know the differences. In it, I shared the biggest similarities and whether Taekwondo is effective in a real fight. But I also revealed if both are in the Olympics.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Best Martial Arts for Short People | ART OF ONE DOJO

Conclusion 

In the article, we looked at how martial arts affect height and if you have to be tall to practice Taekwondo. We also explored if it’s true that martial arts stunt growth.

Then, we looked at the best martial arts for small people. Lastly, we wrapped things up by checking which martial arts make you taller.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell was Academy Director for a large martial arts school for over 7 years, and has trained extensively in a variety of martial arts including Brazilian Jiujitsu, different styles of Karate, the Russian Martial Art of Systema, Aikido, and much more.

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